We’re already more than halfway through the seventh season of Game Of Thrones.
After this Sunday’s episode, we’ll have just two remaining. Thankfully, none of the remaining episodes are as short as last week’s 50 minute tease—though what it lacked in length it made up for in sheer audacity.
‘Eastwatch’ promises to be yet another incredibly important episode this season, perhaps even more so than last week. Read on to see the preview trailer, check out images from the upcoming episode, and discuss some dire predictions about what we can expect.
We’ll start with the preview:
There’s plenty to unpack here, so we’ll tackle the biggest takeaways first, beginning in…
It appears that Bran has begun telling people about his visions. At the very least, he or someone else at Winterfell—Sansa perhaps—has thought to send Jon a raven telling him of Bran’s vision of the Night King marching on Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. It looks as though Bran is actually using ravens to spy on the army of the dead, which is very cool. Perhaps the origin of ravens as messenger birds stems from the Three-Eyed Raven’s ancient magic.
Eastwatch is where Jon sent Tormund and the Wildling army earlier this season to garrison and flesh out its defenses. It’s also the castle nearest to where Jon rescued a number of Wildlings in the battle at Hardhome. That battle was one of the last places we glimpsed the Night King—the other being the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave when Bran was very nearly overtaken by the White Walkers.
I suspect that at the end of the conversation between Jon, Davos, Varys and Daenerys (and perhaps others? Tyrion? Missandei?) Dany will remind him to ‘bend the knee’ again. Sigh.
There is such thing as overusing a phrase, and Dany’s favorite phrase is exhibit A.
In any case, all of this means that the White Walkers could very well begin their assault on the Wall this Sunday. Things are about to get very, very crazy in the near future.
It’s possible that with winter the sea will freeze over and the dead will be able to circumvent the Wall entirely. I don’t think they’ll do that this episode, but I do think something big is about to go down in the North.
I wonder, also, if there isn’t some magical misdirection at work. The Night King knows of Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven. Could he be laying his own trap? Making us all think his primary assault would come at Eastwatch, but it turns out to be a massive strategic feint? Probably not, but the thought struck me nonetheless.
Speaking of knee-bending, we also get a brief scene of Daenerys, victorious after her brutal defeat of the Lannisters, Drogon in the background and Tyrion at her side, demanding that a large group of soldiers and knights swear fealty to her.
“I’m not here to murder,” Dany says. “Bend the knee and join me….or refuse, and die.”
This does actually sound like being there to murder. Sometimes conquerors take prisoners, and when those prisoners won’t bend the proverbial knee, they keep them prisoner. Dany suggests that she has no interest in such quaint practices. If you refuse her, she’ll kill you. It’s just that simple.
This earns her worried looks from her Hand, Tyrion. Which is understandable. He’s just watched the full fire and fury of Daenerys unleashed, with just one dragon by her side. Unless I’m reading things very badly, I think Tyrion is starting to question his backing of the Targaryen queen. Maybe not full blown doubt at this point, but a nagging uneasiness at the very least. As Jon said last week, simply replacing one violent ruler with another is no way to win the people over.
We can assume part of Tyrion’s grim demeanor is thanks to the battle and the mysterious fate of his brother, Jaime. Here we see the Imp walking through the burned out battlefield. One can only imagine how horrific it must be. Charred bodies, the wounded and maimed, blackened horse corpses.
Tyrion isn’t the only one with concerns over Daenerys. “You need to find a way to make her listen,” Varys tells the dwarf.
I can only assume the “her” is Dany, and that they want her to listen to reason, to caution, to anything that will still her passions and calm her bloodlust. People keep telling me I’m too hard on Daenerys, but I think there’s a war going on inside the Mother of Dragons—a war that will ultimately be as important as any other. That side of her that’s good and just and wants to help the downtrodden is sometimes overruled by the dragon within her, the ambitious conqueror and ruthless megalomaniac. If that side wins out in the end, all the Seven Kingdoms will burn.
In the image at the very top of this post we see Jon Snow, apparently walking toward a dragon-riding Daenerys Stormborn. In the video we get a brief glimpse of their meeting, which looks less than pleasant for Jon thanks to Drogon playing third wheel:
For many fans, the only thing hotter than Drogon’s fiery breath would be a Jon and Dany hookup, and it looks like the show may be still headed in that direction, with the Queen and King taking a nice long stroll down the beach. Or, well, the grassy plateau above the sheer cliffs that lead down to the beach, in any case.
I’m curious whether Jon makes any traction with Daenerys this time around. I’m not thrilled by the prospect of hearing the same conversation week-after-week, with Jon insisting on Dany helping with the real threat and Dany responding with her House’s new official words: “Bend the knee.” (The Targaryen words are actually Fire and Blood but ‘Bend the Knee’ seems just as appropriate.)
Certainly Bran’s vision will spur Jon to action of some sort. Perhaps he’ll demand to leave. Maybe Dany will give him a ride on her dragons. Or maybe she’ll try to burn him alive and it won’t work, because he’s secretly a Targaryen himself.
Speaking of which, it still seems far too icky for Jon and Dany to become a couple given that she’s (almost certainly) his aunt. It’s funny to me that so many people are rooting for this outcome given this information. Oh well. The Targaryens certainly had no compunction over bedding family. Cersei and Jaime merely took a page from that book.
Speaking of Cersei
It’s possible that Jaime was captured after the battle. It’s also possible that he escaped. The one thing I find almost certain is that all Cersei will know is that his army was beaten and he hasn’t been seen or heard from. (Well, that or she’ll learn he’s a prisoner.) Whatever the case, the two have once again been separated. There’s not much room left in Cersei’s cold, shriveled heart for love or emotion beyond revenge and hate, but you can see it here as she sits on her bed staring off into the distance. She does still care for Jaime.
My guess is that the next time they come together, the Lannister position will have weakened considerably. In fact, Cersei will be so backed into the corner she’ll turn to her old friend—the same friend that saved her from Stannis and the High Sparrow—for help.
Jaime has a different history with the ultra-flammable green Kool-Aid.
He wasn’t in King’s Landing when it was used to burn Stannis’s fleet, or raze the High Sept of Baelor. He was there when the Mad King Aerys II instructed his pyromancers to use it to burn the entire city to the ground. Before they could carry the order out, Jaime killed the king, preventing the deaths of countless tens of thousands.
The question we all have to ask is: If Cersei were to give that order, would Jaime stop her?
I think so.
Finally, we come to The Citadel
There’s not a ton we can glean from this image. I’m still hoping that Sam becomes a wizard, like he always wanted. Can’t you just see him, standing on top of the Wall, hurling fireballs down into the army of the dead?
Okay, neither can I. But maybe something will happen with his story that makes more sense than magical cures for nearly incurable diseases. I’d like it very much if Sam discovered something truly interesting, maybe even about Jon’s parentage. I don’t want all our backstory and exposition to come from New And Creepier Bran.
That’s all I have, folks. Thanks as always for reading, and be sure to swing back by Sunday night after the show for some rousing Game of Thrones discussion.
You can read my review of last week’s episode here. (All my reviews can be found here.) And also feel free to peruse my season-long predictions. I’ve gotten some right and some wrong so far—not that I’m counting or anything.
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